Updated on: Saturday, December 25, 2021, 02:31 PM IST

Amid possibility of third wave of COVID-19, here's how you can survive the Omicron spread


New Delhi: The third wave of coronavirus in India will peak on 3 February, 2022, an IIT Kanpur study has noted, adding that the country needs to prepare for the third wave of infections after facing severe consequences from second wave of Covid-19.

On Saturday, the Union Health Ministry's data showed that a total of 415 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected in India so far, out of which 115 have recovered or migrated.

Here's a guide to survive the deadly variant :

How fast is the virus growing?

The phrase “very fast” hardly does it justice. Omicron is by far the fastest-spreading variant to date and case numbers are doubling in the UK every two to three days.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says that in practical terms, catching the virus is going to be hard to avoid. Studies of households find a “higher risk of transmission”. The risk of catching it from someone who is infected within a household is more than twice as high as with delta at 21.6 per cent, says the UKHSA.

Nevertheless, a household “secondary attack rate” of over 20 per cent suggests it can still be avoided. Good ventilation, hand and surface hygiene and masks will all help.

According to Meaghan Kall, a senior epidemiologist at UKHSA, “at least part if not all” of omicron's growth is due to its ability to evade our existing immunity.

This means that you can catch omicron even if you have had the disease before. Judging from the early data gathered, seven per cent omicron cases are reinfections - that’s more than 14 times the proportion seen with delta, which is just 0.4 per cent

The alpha and delta variants turned out to be more deadly than the original Wuhan strain for those without prior infection or vaccination and the same could be true of omicron.

The best data on severity comes from South Africa, but it can be read in different ways. Doctors and hospitals report most cases have been mild, but this largely anecdotal reporting sits against data showing hospitalisations have been climbing in line with cases.

What does this mean?

Vaccines, sanitizers and masks, a must in your essentials.

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Published on: Saturday, December 25, 2021, 02:31 PM IST